Fletchers House review


Fletchers House. A wonderful restaurant that has just opened in an historic building in Rye. Let’s start with the building’s history. Back in 1579, John Fletcher was born here, right by the entrance to St Mary’s church. His father was an ambitious priest who went on to become bishop of London, chaplain to Queen Elizabeth, and was present at the execution of Mary, Queen of Scots. John Fletcher avoided the ministry and instead became a writer. He collaborated with Shakespeare on at least three plays and continued to write plays for the royal court until his life was cut short by bubonic plague.

Now, let’s get back to the restaurant. Opened barely a month ago, it promises to be the restaurant we have all been waiting for in Rye – that special place to go with friends and family, or “Because you deserve it!”, with exquisitely prepared, interesting food and lovely wines from all over the world.

As you enter Fletchers, it feels the royal connection in history has been mirrored in the interior – lots of gold leaf, including throne-chairs upstairs in the function rooms. You can book these rooms for private gatherings. The layout is tables of twos and fours, and then through an open doorway, one table for six, and a few more tables of two and four. Tables with quality tablecloth, gold napkin holders with thick linen, and rather comfortable velvet-upholstered chairs. It’s a place which invites you in to settle, to enjoy, and to celebrate. The interior feels luxurious – thick carpet, richly upholstered furniture – creating some glamour, as well as ensuring noise is muted and conversation at your table is possible. This is in contrast to the modern trend of wood and metal in open-plan restaurants leading to noise bouncing around. Crisp white table linen and lovely large wine glasses combine to create the atmosphere that this will be a memorable meal experience.

Fletchers Food

The menu speaks “refined British”. Your table can choose a la carte or a full six-course tasting menu if your hunger is up to it. Starters range from light goats’ cheese mousse to a variety of fish, duck or chicken. Mains lean towards fish and lovely-prepared meat dishes, but with a vegetarian option too. All dishes have little extras, which reflect the knowledge of a clearly thoughtful, experienced chef. For example, pork served with poached raisins and a tasty Spanish white wine sauce; lamb with anchovy croquettes; or duck with soy and star anise.

Before our meal began, we were treated to three charming one-bite morsels, as well as a miniature teacup of celeriac soup with hazelnuts. And I can’t forget the little, ever so light, loaves of bread with butter to enjoy with all our food, and very useful to mop up any remaining sauces.

I chose the mousse as a starter– delicately smooth – accompanied by little cubes of beetroot jelly. My main course- roast saddle of lamb – was tender as lamb can be. Soft, yet also moist and just the right sized plate of food. And yes, keep the bread for mopping – I didn’t and I regretted that…

Cheese plate with local cheese and crisp crackers

My table decided to go straight to the cheese plate. Generous, and all from Kent and Sussex. Cheese came with the most impressive, crunchy, lovely crackers. I could have eaten all of them myself.

You can probably tell that I politely refused dessert but regret that decision. I missed out on poached peaches, white chocolate mousse with raspberry and pistachio… and other amazing-sounding choices. I will try them all when I return…

Congratulations to Fletchers. We so need a restaurant of this refinement in Rye. I can’t wait to go back, and I will make sure I am hungrier next time. I really want to try the tasting menu. And all those desserts…

Image Credits: A. Cooper Hansen .

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  1. Sadly not everyone is well catered for at Fletchers.

    If you are vegetarian there is just one option for each course – which essentially means no choice. That’s quite remarkable these days.

    Then look at the pricing to see the sole [unappetising] choice of a stuffed onion as a main course would also cost only nominally less than a dish constructed around prime meat or fish – just £1 less than a cod-based main course for example.

    Clearly not a place that welcomes regular local diners who are non-meat/fish eaters like me.

    • I have to agree, I was excited to try a new Rye restaurant, but noped out at the stuffed onion option! Luckily it’s quite unusual now to find a menu with so little choice for non meat eaters.

  2. Plenty of people, including myself, applaud the arrival of Fletchers House. The food and presentation is great, the staff personal and professional. The prices perfectly acceptable for the standard of fare they offer. Rye really did need this restaurant. It makes you wonder how Fletchers have managed to pull this off, yet The George Grill, with years of past experience, just cannot get their operation running how it used to be before the tragic fire. But right now there’s no doubt Fletchers House is number one!

  3. An excellent restaurant which will appeal to the majority of diners both local and from outside the area. Superb service and a truly talented chef.
    The food is truly delicious.

  4. Great service, really great menu and accomplished first rate cooking from Fletchers on each of the four times I’ve been. The staff are a big asset to the owners of Fletchers, they are consistent and professional and make a great Margarita. I’m not a veggie but I rarely eat meat and I find looking at the menu online before booking a restaurant hugely informative, saving me and the establishment time, I suppose it’s about taking personal responsibility which is what Fletchers do with their menu. Looking forward to my next visit in a couple of weeks!


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